Wednesday, October 24, 2012

So Why Is This in Court? (Because They Don't Want the Voters to Decide?)

So far, "The Education Initiative" has experienced quite the political and legal roller coaster ride this year. And it isn't about to get any smoother. A district court judge in Carson City has just made sure to that.

The Nevada State Education Association and the Nevada State AFL-CIO are in the process of collecting the 72,352 signatures required for their Education Initiative, which proposes to impose a 2 percent margin tax on Nevada businesses with more than $1 million in total revenue.

The tax would raise approximately $800 million annually in new funding for the state's K-12 public schools, the labor unions said.

However, challenging the unions is the Committee to Protect Nevada Jobs, a political action committee that argues the margin tax would hurt businesses. The pro-business PAC filed a complaint seeking injunctive relief and requested that a judge declare the petition invalid on several grounds.

In his ruling Tuesday, Judge James Wilson Jr. agreed with many of the business PAC's arguments, saying the language used to describe the tax's effect to voters was "incomplete, deceptive, misleading, and therefore, invalidates the petition."

NSEA & AFL-CIO are already planning to appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court, so this dramatic tale is still far from over. It's just amazing how far certain corporate interests will go to silence people's voices. Seriously, do you think they'd be suing like this if they didn't think it was popular?

And as we discussed in June, it's becoming comical to watch "Tea Party, Inc." argue against this initiative simply because it follows the very rule that they have used to kill past tax reform initiatives in court. Basically, they're trying to turn the single subject rule into a constant "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation that kills a tax reform initiative either way! How is this fair at all?

Again, this ruling will be appealed. And the Nevada Supreme Court will have to give some thought about how NSEA & the AFL-CIO have bent over backwards to follow the letter of the law on this... Only to be slapped with a law suit by a group that was formed solely for the purpose of defeating this initiative. Is there truly a legal motivation for this law suit? Or is this just a surreptitious and at least somewhat deceptive effort to put the brakes on a progressive tax reform effort that just might pass (and pass handily) if given to voters?

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